Tiger Woods played well enough at the 2012 British Open to take home $479,992 of the $8 million purse (via Golfandcourse.com), but he should have made a lot more money this weekend at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.
Woods had everything he needed to make a run on Sunday in Lancashire, but he failed to do so in a big way. His play in the first round was enough to make the golf world believe that we had a chance to see him win the ever-elusive 16th major championship.
His second round was equally impressive—four birdies, including his shot on the 18th hole that had a degree of difficulty of 10.
We should have known what was in store once he completed his third round. He entered the clubhouse at even par for the day and six-under for the tournament, but he didn't look as good on Saturday as he did during the first two days of action.
Sure, there were three birdies, but the three bogeys were indicative of what the future held for the 36-year-old star.
His fourth round was one of the worst that we have seen him play lately. The triple-bogey on the sixth hole was the beginning of a snowball effect that saw his score shoot up—not up the leaderboard, either.
It looked like he had righted the ship after birdies on the 10th and 12th holes, but three straight bogeys after that undermined his effort to make a run.
If Adam Scott hadn't forgot how to play golf once he stepped up to the 15th tee, Woods would be getting creamed by the media more than he already is. He should consider himself lucky that Scott lost it so rapidly down the stretch, or he would have been vilified.
Woods didn't choke on Sunday. He was just unable to make a comeback that would have been regarded as one of his best.
The strange part is, signs pointed to him be able to win. He started the tournament off on the right foot. There weren't many favorites ahead of him on the leaderboard. The man who he trailed for most of the four days suffered an epic collapse.
Ernie Els hardly won this tournament. Scott handed the Claret Jug to him on a silver platter.
Woods should have been in Els' position though. That's not to say that Els doesn't deserve to be called the British Open champion for the next year, but Tiger should have been able to lock this one up.
But, hey, that's why they play the game.
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